I want my children to be polite (not like me. In today’s society, I am reminded this is no small accomplishment) but I don’t want it to be just the veneer of being civilized, something that is only external and slips off when I’m not watching or chastising!

I want them to have a deeply internalized sense of respect and fair play for others. The Jews say this aspect of character building is a crucial aspect of what it means to be a mensch.

I happen to think being a mensch is no small goal or achievement.

Whatever we tell our children, I feel compelled to quote yet another cliché, “our actions speak louder than words.” Our behavior, our attitudes, our goals will have the strongest impact of all on our family. If these are the values we want to pass on, we have to do our best to embody them, to really mean it and make the (sometimes difficult) choices that reflect this.

Darkness 2013

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“Lately, I’ve made a conscious effort to slow down. These days, I rarely spend long stretches in the field – I’ve got to make an effort to slow down as it is only when I sit after lunch on my rattan chair after a hefty lunch that I can really begin to reflect on what my next move should be.

I am tired of playing high stakes poker. That if you must know is what I’ve been doing all along – not so different from a man putting all his chips on a number and just spin the roulette wheel. So far so good. But my feel is, this can’t go on indefinitely. It’s just not sustainable.

Truth is, I’ve just been incredibly lucky. I guess, if I really made an effort – I could probably convince myself that many of the things I’ve committed myself to do and succeed in may have something to do with good business IQ, sound judgement and hard work – but in truth, when I reflect back honestly – luck certainly played a preponderant role. I don’t see skill featuring. Not even a bit at all. And that’s the truth.

Neither am I inclined to believe in the adage business maketh a man either – there was this time when I did feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment whenever I stand on the hill and look out at my lands. I even believed in the idea for a while that this was how life is truly meant to be lived. But when I sit down quietly and watch the birds in my rattan chair contemplatively – I realize these five years has exacted a toll on me. I no longer see the world in bold splashes of color any longer – it’s as if I lost the ability to see the world in the way I saw it. One reason for this changed state has a lot to do with the people who once made my life a living he’ll, when all I wanted to do was to mind my own business and plant row after row of trees – they took their dirty bag of tricks and used every instrument to make my life miserable – I made a decision then to stand my ground.

I fought them. There are no Geneva Conventions here. No! No handsome words to describe what it took to make their lands mine.

When I reflect deeply. I know, I don’t want my children to be that sort of man. In truth, if those troublemakers just sat down with me over a cup of coffee and treated me with a modicum of respect, dignity and honor – and gave me the benefit of a level playing field. I would have been more than happy to keep the peace – as I am a man of my word.

If I shake your hand. It’s as good as a promissory note from the Bank of England. I can’t help it – that’s just the way, I was raised.

But no. They thought they could just crush me like an ant beneath a giant boot!

So an arms race ensued. Followed by a crippling war of attrition. Along with psychological warfare – I want you to see it not as a swift and sure enterprise. But rather in terms of a slow progressive degenerative disease like Stalingrad. A litany where warring somehow manages to permeate deep into the marrow of your bones.

I transformed myself into a weapon – I began by first assassinating myself. To win I had to think like a Mossad field agent – I had to seek out the angles, lines and make sense out of the hall of mirrors and smoke.

I started by fashioning myself into a uncle. Lost my baseball cap and baggy cargo trousers, sneakers along with chewing gum. The amulets of uncle power in a planters world is a man with a school prefects hairstyle circa 1971. I wore a bush jacket and began to sell myself as caretaker of the great wheel of life – that was how I began to undermine the influence of my nemesis by first mounting a hearts and mind’s campaign against them.

The man from uncle was relentless. This fellow never skipped a beat. Just like a metronome – soon folk started to just see him as a man who is always there like the hills and trees that you so often see all the time in a Kampung setting – he was always there. During a birth. Death. Temple festival. Slaying (korban) of a cow. Beneath the sway of the palms with the elders when they sat on straw mats and discussed serious affairs drinking strong black coffee.

The man was skilled in the art of war – he made friends with other rich planters. Most of them were ladies. He made sure they liked him enough keep the wolves at bay – this is where he would bide for time and pick and choose his final battle with his nemesis. Providing he hid in the mysterious forest of Victoria Secrets – he knew this is where he would deliver his death blow.

The man was ruthless. He won. This is where a perverse irony of life rears it’s ugly head most unexpectedly – there the man stands overlooking his lands on top of a mega bird house that he has just built. It’s the hour of hesitation – just before dawn, when an eiree paraffin blue colors the skies.

The man now stands victorious! This is the moment. Like when a river finally meets the infinity of the sea. Till then the river has done everything to get to this point – it’s tranversed whole continents. Never once relenting. Always surging forward. And now it’s finally home – there’s no need to fight anymore. You can sleep in on Sundays now. You don’t have to look over your shoulders nervously all the time or try to recover from a hit – it should be one of the finest moments for any industrious man.

That at least is how Hollywood seems to always sell it. Usually with a John Barry paramour sweeping score – but it wasn’t like that for me. As when I think about my own children. I want them to be decent people. I want them to be the sort of folk who will stop and change a tire for a lady who got a flat at one after midnight in the ECP not because he want to fuck her, but because that’s what a gentlemen would always do – I want my sons to be the sort of bloke that will haul you back to the chopper when you have been shot in a fire fight – the sort of guy who everyone looks up too in a platoon. You know the sort lah. The no nonsense fellow. The type who when he says, he will never leave anyone behind. You know it’s like what he said. As if it was even slightly different – it would mean nothing – that is what I want my sons to all be…serious men.

The irony of life is when a man stands there in the moment that should be his ambrosia of moments – life conspires against him cruelly.

He realizes that he never ever wants his children to be like him. Never!

The truth hurts! No. That’s a cliche. But it hurts like hell – like a red hot bullet tearing through flesh, muscle and bone – splintering everything in it’s wake.

The truth hurts does quite say it – not for me at least.

Something has died in me. I know. I can feel it whenever I play the violin – it’s as if a thin membrane is separating me from the profundis of musicality.

There are times early in the morn whe I take the dog out for a walk around the plantation in the twilight – I sometimes hear the sounds of babies laughing and the slight creaking of wheels. I know it is the man who pushes the peculiar triplets pram – I see him and for a while we are always like two stray cats who suddenly turn a corner and all there is to do is to freeze, each lost in their own thoughts – I want to speak to this family man who once turned the wheel of life in Singapore. But our encounters never ever last long enough for even the briefest of exchanges – he always disappears. After that I feel…stupid…silly even.

I try to shake it off. But it clings to me like seaweed. If you really want to know why I don’t ever want my children to be like me – it’s simply because I have been searching to find that man since I succeeded.

I know he is somewhere deep inside me – I just need to be very patient and preservere to seek him out.

You could even say that’s all I have been trying to do since the day I stood there on top of the bird house….looking out with an air of languor over my lands.”

When I see the game of business in

Who cares if he fucks around. Who even cares if he has credit card debts. I don’t see why it was necessary for the admin of Breakfast Network to run a story by obliquely referencing a character assassination article - the hit was of course pulled off with the help of the Singaporedaily (Singapore’s premier Potemkin site) to give it the exposure.

One day I will share with all of you why, the Singaporedaily are not allowed to aggregate anything I write. Not kidding! If you don’t believe me go and ask them. Trust me, it is a very interesting story.

Back to the point. All everyone wants to know is who are the two anonymous ministers? I think there is enough dirt there to go around very nicely lah.

Darkness 2013

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“I really want to ask Bertha Henson what is your goal for starting Breakfast Network. Is this the online version of the ST? I hope not. The way I see it, if the State & Co wants to fix Mr Nizam – then go ahead. But what I cannot understand is what does his resignation have to do with his love life, credit history or for that matter how many times he masturbates in a week.

My point is, there is really a couple of questions on the table. The first is who are these anonymous ministers. Secondly, is it possible to establish a watertight case that partisanship is necessarily such an incompatible idea with public service?

That to me is the end of the story. There is nothing more to it. So why is the breakfast network digging out dirt on his personal life? Sure in the case of Breakfast Network, they did it obliquely by referencing Berita Harian, that way, they can say, we are just commenting on a biase write up- my point is I don’t see the relevance of Mr Nizams personal life alongside the circumstances in which he left AMP.

I mean, how do you like it – if it was Bertha Henson in the hot seat – and I ripped a really personal and nasty write up about her private life and splayed it all put pasar malam syle in my blog? something to the effect – why isn’t she married yet? Do you mean to say no one wants to fuck her? Maybe she needs to work on her teeth not getting in the way during a bj? Btw does she use Eveready or Energizer batteries in her bedtime toys?

Now if I pursued such a line of enquiry in a blog by referencing another character assassination write up – don’t you think it would be offensive to Bertha. Or for that matter anyone who values the whole idea of fair play. I happen to think it’s darn right offensive along with being personal!

Now you all know why I question Singaporedaily (though with those sisterfuckers, I already know what their game plan is – no UAV for you!) and Breakfast Network’s agenda. Coming to think of it, why were they even created. It can’t be to further the truth – as till today, no one knows who are those two ministers? Does anyone even know? Does anyone even care to know?”

RSCN1544I happen to have the good fortune or misfortune, depending how you see it – to know a few ultra rich women who own large plantations quite intimately. From time to time, it’s not unusual for these ladies to literally drop in.

I find they can be very demanding and petulant at times. As when they visit me unannounced. They always seem to expect me to drop what I am doing and just follow them around like a slave. Most of the time, I oblige to keep things nice – but today, I am in the field and I really have pressing business to attend too.

When these spoilt women don’t get their way. They just scold the servants and storm right out like a prima donna – get into their shiny helicopters and take off at full speed…..that’s what I call throwing a tantrum in style….and all I did was to turn up one hour late for lunch.

That’s fine. I have everything under control. I know how to calm Lily down and get her to fly right back. All I have to do is phone her up and play my violin….and….viola…hopefully….very few people know how powerful my violin can be. They have absolutely no idea at all. It’s my wonder weapon.

Darkness 2013

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“In life you cannot be like a bull in a China shop like Mr Nizam – you may think that you’re right. Let me even say, you r by every definition right. But you always have to keep the goal in my mind all the time. The goal my friend is not to prosecute on your right till you end up burning down the house.

That is not the goal. As what bloody idiot burns down his own house even if he is 100% right? To put it another way, what is the use of winning, if it comes at the cost of destroying the very thing that you are trying to build in the first place?

Do you mean to tell me you are even prepared to go all the way, even if it means brother will turn against brother.

Then in my book you are a dangerous man. As you dont seem to able to see the bigger picture here. You seem to be fixated on the small diorama of life where you are the prima donna.

What I am trying to say gentlemen is a wise man not only picks and choose his battles. He uses the appropriate amount of force to overcome his adversary. As there are really so many ways to win – but why choose the most destructive way just to feed your ego and vanity? How much sense does that make even if you happen to win hands down? When all you are likely to do is create more mayhem and give everyone around you high blood pressure?

For me, if I need to bow. I bow. Even if I do not like to bow. I still bow. This doesn’t mean I am a sell out, hypocrite or an unprincipled man – it just means, I value peace and I know that sometimes to move forward, it is often necessary to take a step back.

Besides with Lily, what is the big deal – when she comes back. She will of course throw another round of tantrums. But after a delightful dinner when we are both sitting outside enjoying a fine bottle of cellared wine – when the mood is righter than right - I am sure, if I told her, she behave badly – she will come to her senses and apologize. It’s like that all the time with women – theirs is a nation of nerves, emotions and seat of the pants reaction – if they aren’t like that, then, they aren’t women – that’s one reason why it’s virtually impossible for a woman to do anything to make me angry – as I know for a fact, they can’t help 99% of the things they do and say.

My point is in life – you need to cultivate the wisdom to pick and choose your battles wisely. You need to bide time and wait patiently to fight only under your own terms and not to allow others to color your judgement. Above all, you need to understand, we all live in one house and the goal is to make it a better place for all. Not to burn it down. Not even if you happen to be right.

This is wisdom.”

“Gentlemen, to me the reality of times is sobering. To put it simply. As more natives grow increasingly disenchanted with the policies of the custodians of power. At some point they will begin to tune off from the propagandist narrative. When that happens, I really only see them voting with their slippers to turn the wheel of life outside Singapore to build a better tomorrow for their loved ones- this trend in my opinion has already begun in earnest.

The question now is what are we all supposed to do? Sit by and watch?”

    A person who leads an organically balanced life is not just a person in a happy state of mind. Please do not confuse him with a clown. If you want this then go and smoke Ganja. Rather, it is a person with a certain set of attitudes towards work, life and play that can produce happiness for those around him. The Way of the Farmer is a very simple philosophy, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a policeman, train driver, electrician, engineer, dog catcher or even a professional call girl. As anyone can really take and run with this power that mother nature has provisioned for all us. In a nut shell, The way of the Farmer is simply this. If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your life. As your life can ONLY become better by making other people’s lives better. That if you must know is the goal.

    Happiness is a function of knowing deep in your heart why you are put on this planet in this timeline – it has nothing to do with the mumbo jumbo of walking on water, turning water to wine or rising from the dead . But everything to do with following the Tao of the Nature. This is what the serious men of this world call a no nonsense fellow.

    And this attitude towards life begins at the very foundation of a man’s life – how do you grow sweet fruits? You first begin by nourishing the soil – fertilizing the soil can only strengthen the root system and make the tree strong and stable – when this is done properly, the branches and leaves will be able stand proud before the sun and moon, they will not be brought down by thunderstorms and sweet fruits can only come naturally.

    In the same way, if a man searches for happiness or satisfaction without first nourishing the things that forms the foundation of his life – then although he may find it in the arms of a one night stand, company of his friends or in a bottle of whisky, it can only be a temporary and fleeting moment. Similarly, if a man searches for wealth, without bothering with building a strong foundation, then he will probably end up in jail for armed robbery or breaking and entering. 

    Part of KNOWINGNESS means a man must NOT only be in good terms with everyone in his household. Neither is it enough for him to be a leader in his community. HE MUST BE ABLE TO INFLUENCE OTHERS MEANINGFULLY AT A DEEP SPIRITED LEVEL. Both his family members and those who he works with must understand PRECISELY what he stands for – this is KNOWINGNESS that usually brings happiness to others. As the root of all suffering lies in the opposite of knowingness – ignorance, insecurity, low self esteem, false teachings, uncertainty and a general listlessness in one’s life. To sow the seeds of KNOWINGNESS, a man must be able to share his great vision with others – he must be sincere and honest in the pursuit of that noble goal that is never his, as he is really only the custodian of that vision. If a man has a hidden agenda, then it is very difficult for him to live an organically balanced life. Neither can he be part of this state of mind called KNOWINGNESS – as since he has to tell so many lies and has hatched so many plans to further his crooked designs and to create a false impression in the eyes of others, he is really like a used car salesman who is simply interested in selling the car and not bothered about what happens the day after – and since the cars he sells to others are never what he claims to be – those customers will always come back and hound him that they have been sold a raw deal – such a man KNOWS even less about himself and KNOWS nothing about others, the only thing, he KNOWS is how to walk into a wall – so this man can say what he likes, he can even hide behind caveat emptor – but he can never run away from the crushing reality, he is nothing more than a two timing good for nothing carpetbagger that no sane man can possibly trust to do big things. As this man has absolutely no capacity to make someone else’s life better. And if he cannot do this how can he possibly grow as a human being?

    Darkness 2013

    “In business, I have found that many people like to say, treat your workers like your children and they will do anything for you. The origin of this maxim comes from the fourth chapter of the Art of War by Sun Tzu – but what they usually forget is the preceding lines – when the author warns specifically, that discipline is necessary and if you spoil your men, then they will be no bloody good – to get high performance out of people. You need to demand discipline from others, but how can you do this, if you are indiscipline?

    Discipline is very sobering force. It is like an amulet of power. People can generally make out with very difficulty whether you are a disciplined fellow or someone who is part of the cinchai club by just having a conversation with you. But let us be crystal clear – without discipline, the skeleton key that makes everything possible, the state of mind of KNOWINGNESS will never be yours – and if you don’t posses KNOWINGNESS, then it is impossible to lead effectively.

    As the role of the leader is to know where to go. Only KNOWINGNESS can supply the missing jig-saw. He may not know how to get there. As that is really the work of those who choose to follow him. But he must at least know WHERE and WHY the team has to take that hill before sun down and he must be able to convey this vision clearly to every single man. And not only must he know the general trajectory of where he is heading – he must also be well acquianted with the logic and rationale of WHY he needs to do the things that requires doing. As leadership is not about taking the easy road. Sometime one has no choice but to take the high and difficult road. 

    Without KNOWINGNESS, it is not possible to convey the rationale to the men in a honest and sincere manner - a good leader always takes the trouble to explain both the good and bad, sweet and bitter, hard and easy. He does not add salt or pepper or for that matter try to pull the wool over the eyes of those he speaks too – as people are very savvy these days, they are not going to follow a confidence trickster! As when a leader wants to go to a particular place, but he markets hell as Nirvana – then it is really only a matter of time before his followers will begin to doubt and question his designs. This will lead to skepticism. And skepticism is the direct opposite of KNOWINGNESS and can only open the Pandora’s box that unleashes leads cynicism and this can only sow the seeds to mistrust and suspicion. And without trust there can be no basis for a solid commitment by others. And since this confused leader can never supply a convincing answer WHY it is necessary to stick to the path that has been decided – he can only end up walking this road all by himself. As since his followers are all very far removed from a KNOWING state of mind, they can only leave this useless leader one by one as they begin to see that his vision is really only a self serving goal to possibly enrich himself and allow him to appropriate and monopolize power like a crazy man – when this happens, they will no longer have any confidence in this useless poor excuse of a leader. Neither will they see any future in him. And as one man, this man is really marooned in his own mind and very little can be done even though he may be a very intelligent and capable man – as he is suddenly alone – that is why if you want to be a good businessman – cultivate KNOWINGNESS first. Be disciplined in your words, deeds and thoughts – and from there you will be able to come across as honest and sincere. Always give a man a square and fair deal, respect the idea of dignity of labor unreservedly and never shortchange a man for a honest day’s work – but always remember, if you make it point to give others such good deal all the time, then from time to time. You must also learn to INSIST on getting a good deal back in return. Again this requires KNOWINGNESS. Otherwise how will you be able to demand high performance from others, if you are still a member of the Cinchai Club – ONLY those who are in a state of mind of KNOWINGNESS can raise their voice, flare their nostrils, narrow their eyes and bang the table to make sure the other side knows this is this and that is that – and as a leader, if you see that your workers and business associates are petty and small minded, rebuke them like an older brother. Again how would you even go about doing this, if you are not in a state of mind of KNOWINGNESS? As to do this in a knowing way, you have to be discreet by taking this man to one corner and sharing with him the facts of life – before you start hammering him into shape, tell him WHY you are disciplining him and in this way, he will never begrudge you – KNOWINGNESS is always needed in life – when you find yourself cornered by three men with hatchets in a dark alley where will you be without KNOWINGNESS – you wouldn’t even know who to hit first, where to strike, with how much force all these things will be a great mystery to you. But with KNOWINGNESS all these things are suddenly very clear – so terribly clear to only you – the knowing Man. KNOWINGNESS should not be confused with its poorer cousin UNDERSTANDING. If understanding is eau de cologne. Then KNOWINGNESS is parfum. If UNDERSTANDING is an adjective. Then KNOWINGNESS is a verb . You may not UNDERSTAND why your wife keeps asking you whether her ass sticks out too much in that dress. But with KNOWINGNESS, you know the correct answer to that question is “no honey, it’s just peachy.”

    KNOWINGNESS is what we in Kendo call the void – that place that everyman dreads. Even the best of us turn away from the void – as there lies the sum of all our hopes and dreams – the source of all our fears and fascination. The core of manhood. As Gentlemen to cross that bridge we all know as the void; the man is naked. He cannot bluff his way across that sliver of space and time. He cannot even talk or reason his way out of it – it is as if, you either have it or you don’t – and if you don’t, that’s it you better sit down before you fall down – but if this man is fortunate enough to have KNOWINGNESS on his sleeves – then I think he will sail through. You see it really simple, KNOWINGNESS maketh all things possible, including the impossible it seems – the knowing man.”

    Extracted from the Way of the Farmer – Proudly brought to you by the Brotherhood Press

Women & Dogs

April 28, 2013

“Let me share with you all – why the Farmer’s view of life is very simple. If you have done everything that needs to be done for someone to respect, honor and love you….then when you look them in the eyes and say, come. They will just drop everything and just follow you. Even if people come to them and try to separate both of you, she will murder them!

I want you to all understand this is not hypnotism. This is how it is then when the first tribal man looked with the eyes of his tribal girl fren and they both rode off into the sunset on a big dinosaur and I susepct very little has changed at all….my point is there is no need to try to be someone who you’re obviously not. No need to even raise your voice and try to impress anyone. Or to pressurize yourself to be someone whose larger than life – all these nonsense will just cause you get a nervous break down and cancer of the wallet…All you really need to do is work on improving your inner calmness…to remain so very still when all around you everyone is running around like a headless chicken and falling over themselves…to learn to see the world clearly when the whole world is on fire….to hold one moment of eternity in the palm of your hands and to share this with the person who is next to you.

If you can do this, then even sitting on a park bench and watching grass grow can be very pleasurable and a life changing experience.

Gentlemen, I am aware that we are living in a world that is constantly in a state of flux with the chastening passage of time…but nonetheless, my feel is certain fundamental things about dogs and women will never change. Not for me at least. Never.”

RSCN1544Hunting to me is never just about marksmanship and weapon systems – to me that’s maybe 5%. And that’s only on a good day. The real deal is really the discipline to remain perfectly calm – and to use this highly focus state of mind to positioning, time and seek out the right moment to deliver the death blow – position yourself in the wrong place and you’re unlikely to get an opportunity for a clean shot. Muck out your time and you will probably close in too quickly or delay for too long spoiling your muscle memory rhythm. And if you’re impatient – you will just end up taking a shot at either an impossible distance or vantage where you’re likely to mess it all up. That’s the gist of the hunters creed.

But the hardest discipline to master and teach either a woman or dog is how to remain absolutely calm and cool under pressure – or a hunt. As when the prey turns up, it’s very natural for everyone to get very excited – men, women and dogs included - but unless one is able to remain absolutely calm and still – it will all come to nought

Often words are seldom necessary to cultivate calmness to a nervous dog or woman. As calmness can very easily be conveyed through very small gestures. All that needs to be done is keep the dog or woman very close to you and allow the calmness to seep slowly into their being, like how when you light a stick of incense it slowly infuses the whole room with it’s mysteries – it’s a slow process. Not something that can or should be rushed – to me I just like to lie down on the grass in the shade. Probably a break in the ride somewhere in Bukit Timah. There’s a spot that I have built a tree house – it’s impossible to spot. As the angle I chose fools the eye to never give it a second look. I have a hammock there – it about the size of a ping pong table. I chill out there with Dotty. Mostly we would lie really still. As it’s a hard ride up the hill.

Then we will wait for the swiftlets to stream in at day break. We don’t speak – we just watch. It’s so calm.

Those are the moments I am talking about when speak about the word calmness.

If you remain completely calm - very often, your dog and woman will just naturally follow your cue. Most of the time they may not even be consciously aware that they’re mimicking you. But if you keep calm under consistently, then they will do the same as well – it’s as if, both of you share a bubble of stream of consciousness.

A place where you both know – that’s really where you have always wanted to be. That’s what calmness does to people – they mellow, they grow, they’re nourished. Filled. Rendered whole and complete. They know intuitively at a deep and spiritual level – that they’re now living. Till then, they were merely existing – going through the days with one foot in either the distant past or future. As for the present most of them get by living a life where each day is a repeat ion of yesterday – they work harder, faster, try to be better – they do everything it takes to win. To get to the top of the hill. To cut the grade. And that is really the travesty of our age – we disregard the one aspect of our character that we need to always hone and sharpen – that’s why to when people say to me that they take exception to bloodsport and hunting is just a macho michi, gung ho, red neck pastime – I just know I am talking to a lightweight. Someone who probably thinks the word strategy is something you use in a board game.

I know, I am dealing with someone who does know how to scale risk, bide his time, fight only under his own terms. A man who knows how to move, position, time and find the mark.

Not easy the classical way with a bow and arrow – trust me. As I am a sucker for sportsmanship – I still subscribe to the idea the beast should at least have the right to charge me, if I miss. Not a pretty sight for the knee caps when you consider 60 to 70 kilograms charging from zero to 30km crunching into them like twigs.

That can happen. Easily. You let off an arrow – it strikes a leaf, veers off slightly but enough to richote of its bony tank skull – now you’ve simply made it mad as it glares back at you – That’s where calmness gears in – you reload. It takes time with a bow. You nock calmly. You pull back calmly remembering to use your back muscles and not your arms. You calmly bide your moment as you know you need to aim for that sliver of space the size of a smartphone squarely between the collar bones of a moving target- that will severe all the vital nerves and sending it crashing like a meteorite form space only to stop at your feet – you line calmly.

It’s done.Professional. Fucked it up on the first. But good recovery. You know deep down inside you without calmness – you would probably be in a wheelchair. You thank the god of calmness.

Calmness….the art of manliness.

.

.

Darkness 2013  

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“Let me share with you all – why the Farmer’s view of life is very simple. If you have done everything that needs to be done for someone to respect, honor and love you….then when you look them in the eyes and say, come. They will just drop everything and just follow you. Even if people come to them and try to separate both of you, she will murder them!

I want you to all understand this is not hypnotism. This is how it is then when the first tribal man looked with the eyes of his tribal girl fren and they both rode off into the sunset on a big dinosaur and I susepct very little has changed at all….my point is there is no need to try to be someone who you’re obviously not. No need to even raise your voice and try to impress anyone. Or to pressurize yourself to be someone whose larger than life – all these nonsense will just cause you get a nervous break down and cancer of the wallet…All you really need to do is work on improving your inner calmness…to remain so very still when all around you everyone is running around like a headless chicken and falling over themselves…to learn to see the world clearly when the whole world is on fire….to hold one moment of eternity in the palm of your hands and to share this with the person who is next to you.

If you can do this, then even sitting on a park bench and watching grass grow can be very pleasurable and a life changing experience.

Gentlemen, I am aware that we are living in a world that is constantly in a state of flux with the chastening passage of time…but nonetheless, my feel is certain fundamental things about dogs and women will never change. Not for me at least. Never.”

Incredibly stupid statements like this do very little to further understanding. If anything, all it does is kick sand in the face of thinking folk and make perfectly reasonable people hot underneath the collar – as in reality, for the last ten years since the surreptitiously put the population on round after round of steroids to grow the economy, despite stellar growth – real wages after discouting for inflation has not even managed to keep up with the cost of living.

Today Singapore is the sixth most expensive city to live in the whole wide world – as for the propagandist press, they are now trying to convince the middle class that cars are not necessary, as we have buses and trains – next they will either get Jeremy Au or Tessa Wong to tell us all the benefits of regularly chowing mud cakes and tree bark congee – what disturbs me about all this is how it short circuits the brain to reasonably allow intelligent folk to make an informed decision about what is really going on their lives – as when one considers the intrinsic value of such statements and ask deeper – what does it actually do? Then even you will not have too much trouble agreeing with me that such statements are not so different from cripples huddling beneath a tree trying to wax lyrical about how wheels are far more kinetically efficient than limbs – I don’t for one moment discount the possibility such rhetoric actually goes a long to promote the feel good effect – only one should at least have the courtesy to note even the best hype and spin can never alter the reality. Just as every cripple probably knows how it feels to be confronted with a flight of steps.

Now this super duper idiot is parroting the same line again. I think it’s fair to say most of us can just brush him off as a inconsequential light weight from this point onwards. As such nonsensical people should never be taken seriously.

As they are never part of the solution, but rather the main problem.

Darkness 2013

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Bet you will never ever see this in Singapore! Election fever in Malaysia is really a carnival affair – and the mood is especially heady in the kampung with rival groups trying to out do each other with their on going banner wars. Yesterday the BN boys put up a row of flags. The following day the iron mullah and his PAS group put up two rows of flags. And off it goes from there to oversized banners, super sized banners even helicopters, aeroplanes and even submarines along with dancing elephants(the iron mullah plans to fashion a submarine out of a PAS banner to parody the BN).

These were just some of the hilarious scenes I wanted share with Dotty. To take her by the hand and show her my little of sights and sounds world – a world that I have come to love and cherish. A world that I realize most Singaporeans only really read about, see snippets on TV, but have never ever experienced before.

A place that I once considered inferior, backward and parochial when compared to my last life in Singapore. But with the chastening passage of time. I’ve come to see it differently – peered into it darkened interiors – dipped my hand into the essence of kampung life, till I can see myself preferring to be nowhere but here.

I wanted so much to talk to Dotty about this, when she came over. I had even planned to arrange this conversation during an El Fresco dinner in the field. I had arranged for the palms to be lit like a flaming forest beside the lake and we would dine on Sultan fish and my best cellared wine.

She was scheduled to arrive today. But I have since had to mobilize the entire community to fight a new oil palm disease sweeping down from the North along with trying to find enough of myself to fill up the many request to touch base with politicians, state candidates, community leaders etc etc etc  -  our plans to met will have to be deferred again – it is always like that with me and Dotty.

It seems our fate is always to be so close and yet so far – like the twin moons of Arullo and Krstasin in the game we all play – a dance of serendipity, epiphany and OMG, there are actually people like me walking around and munching in Hans who see the world exactly like me (remember that). Yes, it seems our fate is always to be so close, yet so far….so very far.

Darkness 2013 

mylove3453

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“In an agrarian community a farmer is not just someone who plants row after row of trees – if you are an aspiring businessman, politician or even someone wandering into a kampung to start something – you better remember this. As the farmer is a very serious character - he is the custodian of the great wheel of life. The hub that all the spokes of the wheel that make up the entire community converge and spin on. 

That simply means it is a position of responsibility – that is why during elections or a crisis, everyone wants to see the farmer – this is very natural – and perfectly understandable – so please understand from the onset – when you are a leader in your community, you do not have such a thing as a private life. Neither can you fuck it all up like Palmer by having mango’s on the side either – it is a role that demands incredible stamina, self discipline and great reserves of patience along with sagacity.

That notion of having your private space does not exist at all. As from the moment you wake up your phone will be ringing and smoking all day long to remind you always that you are needed here, there and everywhere -  that is why to be successful in business one must really be able to make meaningful connections with all types of people. Not just folk who you are comfortable with. But even folk who you may not even see eye to eye with. These people need to be won over - all these requires a sense of balance - the ability to walk into a room and spellbound the entire audience is really a skill that needs to be developed – and to pull this off so naturally that it even looks as if one has been doing this for years – this is something that requires more discipline and self determination than I ever expected. After a while, one begins to realize, all that one is…is, really a servant – and that is not such a bad thing, as servanthood maketh a man of consequence.

Today Jeremy Au from our beloved daily rag came out with guns blazing trying to get mileage from the word, “partisanship.” Presumably his editors have asked him to put a favourable spin to this sordid affair.

But how do we know that Nizam didn’t imagine it all? To me this is very odd – as what we have here is a national broadsheet wordsmithing about an occurrence that may not have occurred – I remembered the Tsar of hype and spin, Cheong Yip Seng once mentioning that journalist in ST are the most reliable purveyors of the truth and nothing but the truth – so isn’t it odd that the whole nation should now be speculating about what actually transpired, when the identities of these ministers is still very much a mystery.

I wonder how much sense does this make?

Maybe this is just peculiar to me. But if I were a journalist. I would first establish the identities of these two mysterious ministers BEFORE even deciding to write anything on this subject – but in this case, I am somewhat perplex as to how ST expects us to connect the dots. Are we all supposed to use our ESP skills to read the mind of Mr Nizam? Could it be 9 out of 10 Singaporeans are descendants of Nostradamus?

I don’t understand. As how is it possible for a journalist to even begin writing let alone speculate and postulate on an event – if no one is even sure (including Jeremy Au) who the parties actually are in this whole fracas.

I wonder……

Mr Nizam are you crying wolf? Or maybe you’re just telling it the way it happened?

Now you understand why it is so important to determine the identities of these two mysterious ministers – I wonder can they do us all the courtesy and come forward into the open to help us all clear up this mess.

Or maybe you are lying Mr Nizam? Maybe this didn’t happen at all. Maybe it was all a big nightmare?

Darkness 2013

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“Actually, I am very busy now. As we have all been mobilized to fight a very virulent form of oil palm disease – the guilds have flown in from as far as Munich, Bueno Aries, Myammar and Indonesia – to combine our heads to find a way to beat this menace.

But I will say this. (interruption) Could we talk as we walk to the field camp. Perhaps you can join us for lunch. After all many of these chaps are famish. It would be a good opportunity for you to met my weird friends…

I will be perfectly frank with you – let us begin from the beginning: why do I find this whole incident very disturbing? As when we moot the whole idea of trying to create a better society – then we should really develop zero tolerance for leaders who say one thing and do the direct opposite – and if we are bovine and just let it past – these people will just keep going through the motions. That is to say, they will embody the form and never the content – as they know they can get away with it.

Given time, what you’re going to end up with is a collective state of cognitive dissonance – now this is a big word. But what it basically means is what you make out of your world view differs so dramatically from what it so often represented in the media – and why is that a problem?

Well if you really want to know, eight ball Tharman recently gave a two hour comatose inducing speech about the whole idea of being dominant without dominating – now if you juxtapose this latest development concerning Mr Nizam and these two invisible ministers into this narrative what do you get?

Exactly, a state of confusion – a very uncomfortable state where it could be said, most intelligent people will simply say the government is not walking the talk – they may very well embody the form, but they’re still woefully short on the content - and what you really need to ask yourself is this.

Do you want a society where the custodians of power go around like mafia Dons – where they can just pick up the phone and make threats to get their way? Now if you want to do that, then I say, put a big sign in Changi Airport and the Causeway that says, Welcome to banana republic and pay your ministers $900 bucks a month and while you are it, throw them a couple of Menglembu groundnuts - coming to think of it, you don’t even need ministers to do this type of pariah dog job. You could just as well save yourself the trouble and ask me for a list of kampung gangsters and I am sure I can get the local police to round them up and send them over to Singapore to help mini Lee run his cabinet providing he can supply me a couple of sacks of peanuts - now tell me, do you want Singapore to end up like a banana republic. Or do you want it to be a place where the rule of law is king? Where things are done in an above board, on level and square manner!

The decision is all yours my friend - only my point is, all this ain’t going to come, if you let things like this just slide and people who think they can behave like mafia dons can just slink away like a bunch of cheap pirates.

The way I see it - no one these days can cut the cake and eat it at the same time without incurring penalties – for example ministers want to preach to bloggers about the perdition of online anonymity – that is fine. But how credible do you think they will come across when directors and ministers themselves hide like rats in the night just to cover their asses – how persuasive do you think they will come across when they speak to an audience about the perils of online anonymity. You go figure that out - the way I see it, if you want to behave like a kampung gangster – then I will have absolutely no problem treating you like one…only understand this!…I chew up these low lives like I go through cigarettes!. I want to be crystal clear so that we can all be on the same page here – we should develop zero tolerance for this sort of nonsense – as that is not how serious people go about doing big things.”

(Excerpt was of conversation was captured at camp six in Telugu Estate – relayed by the IMG)

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RSCN1544“I happen to think this is the only question on the table….or maybe they need to grow a pair of balls first before we will ever know why they do the stupid things they do.”

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“If you want to fix someone, then learn to do a thing properly - be man or woman enough to state your case clearly before the public square and proceed by all means to demolish his position point by point - reduce him into a wimpering nervous heap by rubbishing all his points systematically with surgical precision. Now if do that, even if it happens to be an unpleasant business - I can assure you most reasonable people will never ever fault you. As your methods are sound and more importantly congruent with the expectations of the times - in other words, you have conducted your affairs with a high level of dignity that may have done justice to the office that you hold. And since you have conducted your business on the level and square - You are by every definition of the word - a serious man. A Peka gentlemen who values the idea of sportsmanship. The sort of man who can reliably be entrusted to do big things without messing it up a thing – to the serious men of this world, this aspect of your conduct will always command a premium.

But if all you can do is sneak around like a thief in the night and imagine that you can resort to all kinds of underhanded techniques to get your way like Machevelli - then even, if you succeed in your designs. You really need to consider this: how can the serious men of this world lend you their support - in my considered opinion, they will have no time for you. No time means, no time. As your methods are not sound – and since it is not in synch with the way conflict should be intelligently managed in this modern age……coming to think of it – you have no business to be at that level…I am so sorry, did I hurt you feelings? Don’t worry, there is more where that came from.

Where was I? Yes. As a consequence, the serious men of this world probably wouldn’t want to be seen next to you. As who wants to be associated with a sneaky character who doesn’t seem to have any qualms resorting to arm twisting methods to get his or her way. Such characters will always be a liability to both themselves and those who are foolish enough to be associated with them – as they do not seem to understand how to win on the fair and square -  and that is really a polite way of saying – you do not know how to win the hearts and minds – and since your methods are unsound - not only have you brought shame on yourself. But it could also be said you have serious inconvenienced your peers. As so many of them have worked so hard through the years with their various communities to project a clean, reliable and trustworthy image. And now that you have done this! Do you have any idea what you have done? Let me spell it out in baby language: All of you have gone back to square one!

I am not kidding – square one back you all go! This way please. I am like the bus driver who here to take you there. Just like snakes and ladders!

To put it crudely, in the almanac of the serious men…. you’re no better than a cheap gutter gangster dressed up in a rented tuxedo…..you’re simply out of your league…you have absolutely no business dabbling in statecraft at all. The highest office you should ever to be allowed to aspire too is a food court supervisor in a low traffic area like Chernobyl or Siberia……and that is really how a planter would tell it…the call a spade a spade unabridged version of the truth that is: now you know, why this incident will always have to power to disturb! Provoke! And baffle!

As you can see I don’t have any problems calling a spade a spade. The same cannot be said of those who have to scuttle around like rats in darkness. They have to hide in anonymity, as that is all there is to do.” 

RSCN1544When one is confronted with a crisis – it is natural to lose one’s head momentarily. But one would do well to remain very calm.

Easier said than done. Especially, if you know of the terror that is about to come.

Most farmers do not see what I see. I have seen this before in Africa. Seen vast tracts of arable lands being rendered to stumps – seen them enough to drive mile after mile with hardly a change in the scenery.

I don’t whether this new disease that’s creeping it way from the North is capable of such devastation. I don’t know. And I suspect no one knows either.

One must calm. Calmness the great unifier of the mind. As without a cool and composed mind – it’s very difficult to be effective or for that matter inspire confidence in others. 

Yesterday during my regularly monthly meetings with the oil palm small holders it seems a new palm oil disease is sweeping down from Southern Thailand. So they say. Some say it’s spread by the wind. Others claim it’s carried by the strain of wevils – very little so far is known about this new disease. However, what is known is, it’s spreading.

Today I made a three hour road trip up to the North by landcruiser to see for myself, the extent of the damage – I wanted to get a sense of scale and get a handle on how I will have to plan to wage war against this scrouge. It didn’t take me long to realize this is serious. But I am confident we will win. I have been told the Germans, Italians and French are finalizing the last details of the precision farming UAV (I believe this will be our wonder weapon) – the timing couldn’t be better.

As far as the extent of the spread of this disease, it hasn’t descended on my tiny village yet – but it will only be a matter time as the dry season is approaching – and the winds are likely to pick up and spread these deadly spores far and wide - hasty preparations will have to be made – every man and woman in the community would have to be mobilised. Now I have to crack my head on how to break this news to my community without causing panic. Maybe I making a big thing out of this. After all so far there seems to be only isolated outbreaks. But again it is hard, if not impossible to beacon the murk. I have seen all this before in Africa and I have very little illusions what needs to be done.

I would need to cancel all my plans and make a trip down to Kuala Lumpur ASAP. That’s sad, as Missy Dotty was supposed to visit me this weekend from Singapore.

I need to speak to the serious men in the Internationale. I need them to bring this matter up to the Imperium in the virtual and mobilize a team of experts. We need knowledgable men to fight this menace. The seniors in the every Guild will all be gathering in my plantation this weekend to discuss how best we should tackle this problem -Coming to think of it, it’s best if Missy Dotty isn’t round when those rowdy fellows come along.

We will win!

Darkness 2013 

mylove3453

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Three weeks ago. I had the misfortune to met a rather obnoxious Singaporean in a planter’s luncheon. This person made it clear to everyone on the table, he wasn’t particularly fond of my political views. Apparently he knows of me and sought me out specially to give me a hosing down. He actually thinks he’s some big self appointed Tai Koh - even went so far as to threaten me – it’s best that I don’t go into specifics. Not that it had any effect in altering my views – since I hardly made any effort to disguise what I thought about the current political outfit in Singapore.

But once a threat is made – it’s not uncommon for me to take it seriously. That’s my nature. I am by nature ultra paranoid. It doesn’t take alot to set me on the war path. 

To cut a long story short. I needed the help of this individual to kick off my new oil palm refinery mill that I have developing for the last five years - this chap must have thought I was desperate. That is perfectly understandable. As I prefer to always sell myself short – it’s a habit that I find difficult to break. So this fellow must have interpreted it as desperation and played hard to get and gave me the round the world treatment.

This only pushed me to the brink of war. As despite our differences, I was still prepared to keep to my word and offer him the first bite at the cherry – that was really my private gesture of peace -my way to telling this narrow minded asshole that we needn’t fight, that we can all live and let live, despite our differences. What I meant to convey to this chap is although he and I may hold different political views – this shouldn’t in any way prevent us all from collaborating on a business joint venture. After all we both have wifes and children back home in Singapore – and despite our apparent differences, we may actually have more in common – as we both hope for a better Singapore….but all this is now water under the bridge.

In reality, I would have much preferred, if this fellow just left me and my political views all to myself - what I especially take exception too, is how he and motley crew stupidly surmised that I was mucho desperate or that I wasn’t too confident in what I was trying to sell – a new machine, a new way to refine oil palm. That’s not surprising as the roll out can at best be described as patchy with loads of room for improvement. So he used this as an opportunity to press down my price.

Yesterday I told this chap that all the adjacent mills will be buying my new centrifuge separator – he was shocked beyond belief – that I had moved so fast behind his back. As I had emboldened him a couple of months ago with disinformation that it was hell trying to transport these huge cylindrical separators through plantation roads – and too many of my lorries have over turned. In reality, all my lorries don’t have any problems these days tranversing even the most inaccessible plantation roads – we have been training, training and training for the last 4 years! In business, it is not unusual for me to highlight my strenghts as weaknesses and weaknesses as strenghts to throw the enemies off the scent.

When this chap asked pleadingly whether my offer still stood – I told him in a very matter of fact style that it had lapsed as he had delayed too long and there was no way for me to supply any separators for at least one calendar – as I had committed myself to too many orders.

What this fool doesn’t realize is, he was going to go out of business very soon – as I intend to secretly subsidize his competitors with a regular transfusion of technology to make sure that their productivity and yield is at least 20% higher than what he can currently churn out with off-the-shelf technology.

In six months time when he is sufficiently ground to dust – I think it would be a good time for me to stroll in wearing my tightest trousers and sunglasses with a bad ass consortium to buy him out at rock bottom fire sale prices. He’s finished!

Moral of the story. Never ever allow your political views to interfere with your business judgement – it can be fatal. NEVER.

And in this case, I will make sure it is fatal by breaking his rice bowl – it will be siwft and sudden. When will this stupid people learn that they are not in Singapore? No Davinder Singh here to save your bacon. No, CPIB threat don’t cut any ice here – infact, they have as much effect as mosquito bites. No power lah. Not even on a rainy day….that is life…I am afraid.

Besides I have a brain…why can’t I hold on to my beliefs. It’s not as if I am planning hell or mayhem…I am just minding my own business…planting row after row of palms….What about thinking? is thinking a crime? Is there a law that says that I have to die die support PAP, if I want to be a successful businessman? Can anyone please tell me whether there is such a law?

Now you all know why its best for every businessman to consider business as war! And nothing else.

Darkness 2013

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“Life these days is no longer a simple calculus as in LKY’s time, where the mantra used to be - if you are not with me, then you are against me. It is much more complicated, varied and sophisticated – as these days no one really cares what the ST has to say – they can go ahead and conduct any poll they want. But whether people choose to regard it as a reflection of how bad the press is or whether it is an accurate depiction of reality is really a matter of great speculation. The same goes for what ministers have to say about any topic under the sun. They will be challenged.

As these days the iron curtain of information has been irrevocably smashed – as a consequence we already living in a social political landscape where we all know there is more than one way to create a better tomorrow without necessarily having to follow the trite yellow brick road of the PAP.

What the custodians of power need to understand is they can forward any version of the truth they want. They can even sugar coat it and put the best spin on it – but no one is just going to be buy it these days. Except maybe the die hard PAP zombies.

Having said that certain things will never change. Such as the capacity of a man to make an informed judgment about let’s say his standard of living – or for that matter any subject that piques his interest.

The sooner that the custodians of power understand the need to respect the views of others – the better it will be for all. The sooner they jettison the pie In the sky idea that journalist and only journalist can reliably be trusted to be purveyors of truth the better it will be for all of us. The sooner that they can mothball the idea that there is nothing of value in the internet except noise, the better it is for all of us.

After all when you consider that even those who criticize the PAP merely do so as they all wish for a better Singapore – then don’t you think, we already have such a thing as common ground, where it might even be possible to agree to disagree like gentlemen – and if that is the case, then wouldn’t it be right to say – the sum total of what continues to unite us all even if we are all throwing chairs at each others will always be stronger than what will threaten to divide us – and if that is the case…tell me my friend, what is the value in holding on to the old hat idea, you are either with me or against me…Because if you structure any conversation along those lines. Then In my book you’re just not giving the conversation a chance – tell me where does that sort of zero sum logic fit in this modern social political landscape. Let me put it another way, how far do you think you’re going to go with that sort of lousy thought ware? What if I said, you wouldn’t even be able to get out of your gate without crashing and burning?”

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I am in the field now. When I return. I’ll write. Darkness 2013

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“It is a widely held belief in these parts – if a man steals from the man who lives at the top of hill where the two rivers met – he will die within ten days. The strangest thing is no one remembers who first mentioned this. Not even the old farmers who had seen the passing of more seasons than they cared to remember could recount – all they could really do was reflect the scene before them, as they sat in one neat row in the wake of the thief that night.

The saih kong (local medium) who also doubled as the amulet and anti evil eye fixer, part time geomancer had deemed it necessary to conduct the wake in reverse fashion along selling protection amulets. It wss his innings – he never sold so many protection amulets before.

After all, it’s not everyday that someone keels over from a curse by the devil – no one considered it odd. To kampung folk all this is part and parcel of the ebb and flow of life. Least of all the widow. A young girl with a seven year son. She may have appeared indifferent during the wake – lost in her own thoughts – but even she didn’t know whether it was true that if a man stole from the devil – he would die within ten days. And now that her good for nothing gambler of a husband had died suddenly of a heart attack at age 30 – she knew and that expression of realization was the face that she wore that night at the wake. A face that knew a thing for what it is and what had to come after this. The only reason why I say this is because there was an unmistakeable look about her. An aura of assurance even that suggested that she knew that it would all come to this – and beneath that look, there was a harder substrate that shined so brightly…but what was is?

To the perceptive reader, to understand this one would always do well to remember – superstition isn’t just a word in the old plantation way of life – it’s a way of life. A way of life that city folk may even consider naively quaint. But it’s all too real here – spend enough time looking at trees and you realize at some point they’re simply hardy vegetables. They’re not dead. Far from it – look long enough till your neck aches at row after row of birds and you would soon realize no two birand ever fly alike and. There are always small differences in the way they yaw – so these kampung folk who have lived all their life’s in this setting – they would never entertain the idea of chance, probability or just plain bad luck. Like keeling over from a heart attack at the implausible age of 30! I had to be the work of the devil.

This is perfectly understandable. As country living imposes a certain mystery on all manner of things – things are never what they appear to be. There is always enough darkness to stir the imagination. The jungle is only one step away. Things regularly go bump in the night – they’ve all seen it. That’s why from time to time one sees cakes and incense beneath a tree. An offering. A morsel of food. All this to supplicate and soothe the malevolent spirits.

The man who walked in to the wake late that night, when all others had departed must have just returned from the field – he knew the secret signs on the door way. The man had often registered the invisible lines of heaven and earth in his regular dealings with those who still knew how to speak in the language or cups and chopsticks – he knew like those who came before him, he was here to play a role, when he saw the way in which they were all arranged. A role that was as old as the hills. A row that even time may have probably forgotten.

The man picked up the three bright coins placed by the doorway with two candles – he drank half and splashed the rest on the door way to extinguish the candles and ended by flinging the tree coins. H H T. Good enough! The sai kong must have thought to himself. As was only after he had nodded his head approvingly that the entire funeral troupe began banging happily away as the man began to take off his shoes and walk into the house with the widow. At that moment, all the Taoist houses in the village began to do the same after the last of the fire crackers had rented out.

In the house the man sat down on the only armchair in the hall. He was still in his field fatigues. The man knew what would happen the day thereafter – he knew the way of the ang mui lang (red door people) – he knew the triads would take this woman away in the morning. She would probably be sold as a sex worker. Her husband had left debts. And the man knew that they were watching the house – they were very practical people after all. But so long as the man stayed in the house – even they would have to respect the rules of engagement imposed by them that night by the laws of heaven and earth.

The man drank Whisky. By his third glass, he hardly noticed that the widow had decided to join him. She curled up on the sofa — when she asked him whether he wanted more ice – the man did not reply. He was in another world. A world where he could not hear her – Even when the widow told him, “I knew you would come.” The man merely looked on impassively.

It was the expression the widow wore that night when she spoke those words that sent a shudder down the spine of the man – he could feel that chill closing in. As the words began to slowly seep in.

“I knew you would come.”

The widow went on to say, “that was the only way I know how to get rid of him.” She had encouraged him to steal something anything from the lands of the devil – she had even emboldened him with promises that she might even consider his suggestion that she sell herself as a call girl, if he was man enough to steal something from the devil – and so the husband stole a ladder from the gardeners shed of the Devil and within ten days as it was written, the thief keels over and dies.

The widow went on to recount absent mindedly as if she was thinking aloud – how she too deserved to live a full life. And she saw this as the only means to escape her life of drudgery and misery. As she said again and again – “I have made a great mistake by marrying the wrong man and only heaven and earth can save me……and now that the Devil has fulfilled his promise…both me and my child await our destiny.”

These haunting words seem to infuse the entire house with a strange silence. A tomb like silence where even the slightest murmur acquirone a strange heaviness – one that even made the ticking of the mechanical clock grow louder with the chastening night- a rhymthic tick, tick, tick that only deepened as the night began to unfurl it’s mysteries.

Darkness 2013

(This com-sat has been bounced by the Niberium Class Deep space research Starcruiser KDD Rubicon and her sister vessel KDD Romulo III – Brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild – The Brotherhood Press 2013)

Since I am always out in the field. I rarely get a chance to spend any time in my own plantation. Today I made a special point of spending some time in my new swiflet bird house – this is a completely new line of business for me. The goal is to diversify and to hedge my risk by exploring other businesses other than plantations. So far everything seems to be going to plan.

I am very happy that my maiden bird house seems to be filling up. Most bird nest farms go bankrupt. As the success rate is only 20%. As I look on. I feel a heady mix of optimism and anxiety. As this new line of business will definitely stretch me into other areas that I am currently not familiar with. However, not everyone seems happy that I have ventured into this new enterprise.

As I suspect, the swiflet business may well be an enterprise that is controlled by the triads. These established players appear to be very anxious that I have put one foot into this industry – perhaps they feel that I am muscling into their turf – then, I can well understand. Understand completely. If I was in their position, I too would be worried.

As I am a man with a reputation. Not just any reputation. But the sort you never mess around with unless you are prepared to lose everything – his cannot be help. Cannot change or for that matter erase an obliterate – just as no man can ever run away from his past. Every business man can never run away from his story.

Let us just say my rise till today remains controversial. As to be perfectly honest with all of you, I do certainly have a chequered past. The sort of history that provokes fear rather than respect which I much prefer.

Recently, I sat down for tea with the nervous tai koh of the swiflet business in my area to clear the air. I told him plainly that I come in the name of peace. He looked suspiciously at me and demanded to know - why then are you snapping up all the lands that are suitable for swiflet farming?

I went on to tell this man and the rest of his colleagues to remain calm - as I hope to work together with the powers that be – and I will not have any problems selling some of these lands, if the price is right. I went on to mention, the pie is big enough for everyone - with these words, I took a chopstick and placed it through the gills of a steamed fish and offered it to the taikoh.when he hesitated. I simply remarked, “Come, come surely you do not fear peace more than war?”

With these words – everyone on the table began to relax and let their hair down – someone offered me a glass of beer. I ordered a whole case. We all ate and drank merrily. Maybe, I am just getting older…maybe this is how it is when a man slows down and begins to mellow. Maybe I am right there at the threshold of uncle hood – yes, I’ve worn that ridiculous bush jacket for so long that – all that is old has now somehow manage to permeate my flesh and seep into the essence of the marrow of my bones.

I am told age has a way of catching up on every man – maybe my ticket is up. I don’t know whether this is the best thing to do business wise. All I know is it feels right.

Darkness 2013

“Kwai Loong the legendary swordsman was weary of warring – for the last ten years, he had waged war against the Ching to the North and the Chu to the South. And now, the fearsome swordsman who was the practioner of the deadly whispering cut wished only for peace and to return to his little hamlet to the East to grow red sorghum.

That day as the great swordsman who had seen more battles than he had scars sat down on an assuming table and ordered steamed fish to go with his bowl of rice – a local warlord recognized him. When Kwai Loong was confronted by a group of men weilding hatchets – he merely, placed a chopstick through the gills of the steam fish and offered it to the warlord.

When the warlord saw this – he was confused – there was after all a bounty on the head of the legendary swordsman – so he asked the disheveled character who looked more like a wandering vagabond again whether he was Kwai Loong. The man simply raised the dish of steam fish before the warlord and mentioned, “please let us eat and in due time, I shall be happy to answer all of your questions.” As the warlord and his men continued to watch on – they all concluded, surely this man cannot be the legendary swordsman after all. The man known as Kwai Loong was after all a legendary swordsman. But all they saw that day was a beggar who seemed more interested to fill his hungry stomach than a formidable warrior. Surely this man couldn’t be Kwai Loong.

With these thoughts the warlord and his men began to relax. They ate. Drank. Drank alot through into the evening – by morning they had all been slain. As the stunned proprietor of the tea house overlooking the only bridge across the Yalu looked on – he wondered to himself, whether the traveling monk could well have been Kwai Loong.”

—————————————————————

I realize recently, the government seems to be finally acknowledging they may have gone too far with their happy-go-lucky policy of unmitigated immigration of foreign PMET. These days even the government along with wax work ministers all seem to be experiencing a rare moment of epiphany…on the table, there is talk of putting the brakes on free for all immigration…for the very first time, there is now a criteria….as they seem to be hell bent on reversing many of their once corrosive immigration policies that once had the effect of decimating the Singaporean middle class.

Many people may be lured into the false sense of security that this recent change of heart by the government, will be enough to restore the Singaporean workforce equilibrium and increase the aperture for job opportunities – along with stimulating salaries for PMET’s to move upwards.

But I am not so sure this latest round of U turns will be able to fix many of the problems that will still continue to militate against native PMET’s from securing decent jobs – the way I see it, these measures should have been rolled BEFORE the inception of the plan to ram up the population by putting it on round after round of steroids just to chase the allure of economic growth ten years ago! Now at this late stage in the game talking about emergency brakes is a bit like discussing whether the Titanic could have survived it’s I’ll fated duel with an iceberg, if it had radar…to me the discussion is now a giant academic abstraction.

I can’t for the life of me see how so little at this late stage of the game is ever going to reverse the trend or restore the notion of the level playing field any longer for native PMET’s – neither do I believe the policy makers themselves even realize how much of the DNA that once made possible the idea of broad based Singaporean middle class can ever be re-built again. Or for that matter how tenuous the links were and to what extent they have been devastated – coming to think of it, I don’t even believe anyone really knows the scale of the destruction or for that matter the magnitude of how happy-go-luck immigration has actually scissored and destroyed the most productive class in Singapore.

In my opinion the only reason why no one has bothered to scale either the lost and decimation of the Singaporean middle class in the last ten years is because all the ST seems to do, is just churning out the trite mind numbing fairytale: how all remains well in paradise. Wonder no more why it even took the custodians of power so long to register the ground swell that when they lost the Punggol by election it came like a bolt from the blue – in my book, this is axiomatic of political outfits that simply didn’t bother to put their ears close to the ground. In summary, they fucked it all up!

Nonetheless for the curious – when one peels back the veneer of this seemingly happy scene where the government seems to experiencing an awakening of sorts – then what becomes clear is this may well be a problem that has been neglected for so long that all attempts to reverse the trend now may well be a forlorn dream. Impossible even in my assessment…as all systems can really only take X or Y of abuse. Beyond a certain tipping point, even the most optimistic would have to consider the theoretical possibility…it’s busted beyond all hope of repair.

My feel is, it’s best to be frank and call a spade, a spade….the Singaporean dream is dead. I my opinion.

I am reminded the truth is seldom a pleasant thing…but nonetheless necessary….if we are to move on…..

Darkness 2013

I know so many Singaporeans who have decided to say bye-bye to their homeland that I even know for a fact – not many of them bothered too much with the whole idea of making peace with the source of their hurt.

Many unfortunately leave Singapore out of anger. In many cases, the source of their anger has more to do with things imagined than what they should really be angry at.

I even know the drill – usually it comes around the fourth and fifth round of drinks. You know the time when all the wives and kids have turned in – and all there is a group of men. Some have made it big time. They came with literally nothing, now their net worth is in the regions of millions. Most are in my category, we are still trying to get up there with loads of superglue, duct tape and chewing gum – then, there are the newbies, who have just come over.

They all never open up in the first year. Never. They’re all like clams. Tight as an oyster. But sooner or later they will all have to spill their beans – as when you have to turn the wheel of life away from your family in a foreign land with other men in the same condition. Its a bit like suddenly joining the French Foreign legion.

Everyone has a story. That’s to say, no sane person who has lived, worked and played in Singapore will ever pick up and just go – something must have flipped a switch in this man’s head. Anything! Could be what they perceive to be lousy policies to even their last conversation with their boss – or maybe they just found it increasingly impossible to turn the wheel of life. The see things shooting up and they look at their pay that hasn’t really moved at all. And they wonder, what’s happening. It could be something like that.

My point is every family man who turns the wheel of life outside Singapore has his private pain – this is his secret desolation. The place that always comes to him when he looks at the picture of his wife and kids before he turns in for the night.

Maybe it is regret. The idea that he is not a real man. Or man enough to really hack it back in Singapore. Perhaps it was the shame that came with it. Or maybe it was something else. But they all have a story – a stone. A very heavy mill stone…that they all have to put down.

I sip my brandy and light another cigarette. As I lean back into the chair. It’s well past midnight – and there’s still another quart to go amongst the boys.

Yes, we have good reasons to be happy – it’s been a good harvest. A decent year. Not too sweet. Just the right amount of run of the mill grief. That’s why we’re drinking. Celebrating.

But I’ve seen it all – I am a lau chaui at this. What did you expect? I came here long before them – have seen more passing of seasons then all of them put together. This is just their first year.

But they all need to put down their stones – they need to give their pain a name, bury it, make peace and move on. If they don’t then that pain they have carried here can only slow them down – it may even consume them in a firestorm of bitterness and anger. I have seen many such men succumb to the malevolent forces of bitterness and anger – seen even how it has impaired their judgement rendering them a liability to themselves and those who are allied to him.

This is why I must sit here in this uncomfortable bush jacket. And just go with the flow of the conversation – it’s only a matter of time before it comes to that subject.

It always turns to that subject when it gets cold in the night in a plantation. A time when the conversation suddenly falls silent. Someone tries to start it up against, but it doesn’t quite manage to have enough of it to go on – each man is lost in his own thoughts.

I listen. I never speak. I just listen and convey that I understand. I understand completely. And the night wears on….whispering murmurs…sharp shadows of the candlelight….it just goes on….through the night.

As that is what it takes to put down a stone.

I know about such things. I am the man who helps them all to bury their pain forever. That’s why I am here tonight.

Darkness 2013

——————————————————–

“If you want to do something then do it properly. Or don’t even do it at all. As you’re probably going to fall before the finishing line. I don’t care what anyone says, but there is a Tao to leave a place – a ritual even. That at least is how I see it.

It may be symbolic, a metaphor or even the way a gangster places a broken chopstick over his teacup and hands the other half over to the taiko. It means in closed circles, it is now time for me to cross this bridge. I must leave. But I do so leaving one part of myself with here. It is the same with wife and children. To do in a wise way where they may not fully understand what you may have to do, but the important thing is they know the goal and they are right behind you.

It is very simple why you need to lay down your hurt and make peace with the things and people who have been kicking sand in your face – if you don’t. Then what will happen is bitterness will give way to anger, anger to fear, fear leads to suffering…..how is it possible then for you to build an empire.

I mean surely you didn’t come all the way here just to get another salaried job right? So you must have come here like me for a reason.

You wanted to be more than a brick. I understand. I understand completely.

My point is how are you going to do that, if you haven’t even bothered with the whole business of making peace, forgiving and moving on?

Please do not misunderstand me. This is not a Deepak Choprak moment. It is reality, an uncomfortable reality – as this is not the right way, not the right way at all. It’s a bit like leaving a girl dangling. It’s not something s gentlemen would ever do.

So it’s best to just square it. I wish you luck. I want to believe in you. But I cannot as I don’t feel the cost is worth it. Nonetheless I wish you luck. I just want to prospect beyond our shores. That sort of Disserata.

You have to learn to put the stone down – only then can you pick up a new stone in your new home away from home. Only then can you allow love to slowly work it’s magic as you begin to love the people and ways in your new home. And you need to do this – otherwise no one will follow you and you’re just a cheap charlatan like the others. That’s no good.

You want to be a serious man. You know the type who others will always call on to sit on the round table when a crisis pops up or when a painful decision needs to be made – because that’s where all the action is – so if you’re not even there at that league, then you’re not even in the game.

Now you understand why this is jugular – dealing effectively with your emotional baggages, making sure that if you leave – you do so with pain, but suffering is always optional.

Always. As that’s always the best attitude to take when you decide to say bye bye to someone or place that you love – I want to give it all the respect she once gave you. So you cannot be angry with her as she is really like a woman – a mother – cradle of life – oil palm. Maybe not quite a palm, but you get my drift.

As some things we will need to always respect…honor and even love. As so much of our roots are still there.

I realize gentlemen this is a very agricultural way of seeing the affairs of what a man should and shouldn’t do.”

If you plan to make a life changing decision to leave for greener pastures. Do it for the right reasons. Do not be consumed by anger or hate. Do not even be emotional about it. Approach it like a well trained Mossad agent on a mission where failure is not an option. Remain calm. Do your research meticulously, then when the time comes for you to step up to the ledge.

You will find that you have wings….this is the power of calmness.

The calm mind is what makes it all possible. Not your qualifications. Not how rich your dad is. Or even whether you flunked your O levels. It all starts by just stilling the mind.

Good evening to you all.

Darkness 2013

P.S: I am in the field now. If this post is garbled. Please remove it.

————————————————————

“The goal in life is to be your OWN man – to be a master of your own destiny. The exact opposite of someone who just wakes up every morning, brushes his teeth and puts on his tie to go to work without EVER thinking so much as once – what is it all for? Am I am approaching this whole idea of life intelligently?

To accomplish this simple yet impossible feat – to be your own man, it is first necessary for a man to cultivate a habit of seeing the world for what it is and not what others say it is. That simply means you trust your mind and judgement completely. You trust it so much that whenever you come across a propaganda piece in the Strait Times, you call a spade a spade. When you hear politician spouting feel good rhetoric…you just call a carpetbagger a carpetbagger. The key here is to develop the confidence and honesty to see the world in those terms - and to develop the habit of questioning everything and NEVER to take any thing at face value. NEVER!

I happen to believe very strongly this is an attitude that needs to developed to a very high level, if you are serious about migrating. As no matter where you decide to sink roots. You will often find it tough, challenging and in certain cases very stressful. But this is only to be expected – as you have just uprooted yourself from all that is familiar to suddenly find yourself in an unfamiliar alien environment. And now that you are in this alien landscape where everyone and everything is different – you have to establish your reputation, worth as a man and what you stand for all from scratch.

So it’s not unusual to be assaulted by doubt from time to time. Especially when things don’t go to plan. You may find yourself even questioning this entire enterprise – and when you go through that sort of gyre – you will soon discover that both anger and hatred are really lousy allies. As it can only lead you astray and further away from your goal.

I will be frank. You really need to learn to be kind to yourself. To even understand that your mission as a family man is never an easy thing. To even cut yourself some slack. To somehow come to terms with the idea that you need to be always gentle on yourself by setting small and realistic goals – as when you find yourself flaying in a foreign land. One of the things that you will notice is that, there are many who will feel distraught. They too may be overcome by despair and hopelessness – as let us face it. Migrating is never a simple enterprise – it’s really one of those things that you probably want to go through once or twice in your life time as it is so demanding on every aspect of your personality – so to develop the stamina to lead your family and be a leader in your community – you really need to develop the stamina to stay the course.

That is why anger and hatred in my opinion are NEVER good reasons to just pick up and go – as with that sort of attitude, I can more or less guarantee you 100% you will probably end up where you started – and I doubt that you will even get to enjoy your search for Avalon.

If I had to only mention one force that can sustain you mentally, physically and spiritually – then I would have to say, it has certainly got to be LOVE. Love for your wife, children, loved ones and inner circle of friends – as when a man is filled with love, then it is almost impossible for him to fail. Impossible!

As when a family man is in love, then everything is possible…..that is one of the reasons why I believe very strongly it is not possible for a man to be whole and complete unless he makes a commitment to raise a family – as when he crosses that line, then he knows….somewhere deep in his head….failure is no longer an option. This is something that the homosexual, lesbian, metrosexual and half man can never aspire to understand even if they live 1,000 years. As when a man brings children into this world, then he can only realize that life is NEVER just about himself…this man now suddenly comes before a higher calling…one where he will learn about the whole idea of servanthood, fatherhood and brotherhood.

That is why when I come across a committed family man. I am always wary. I much prefer to cultivate his friendship. As we really have so many things in common. Besides such a man can be a formidable enemy….this is not unusual at all. Not at all. As love being what it is, can always be reliably counted to find a way. No matter what the odds.

Even now when I think back. There are so many trials that I much prefer to forget. Bury even. Some I don’t even want my wife and children to ever know about – as they may see me differently. But I need you all to understand –  I did all these things – took extraordinary risk – played high stakes poker where everything can be lost in one roll of the dice – all these things, I did. Not for myself…NEVER! it was always for my family, loved ones and inner circle of friends….only for the people who are dearest to me. That is the power of love. When a man has love in his heart. Everything is possible and nothing is impossible.”

FIVE YEARS AGO,WHEN I FIRST STARTED IN PLANTATIONS

 

Emmons-PineTreeJHM-2

The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics is now available onlineThe inaugural issue contains several poems, including the following one by Caleb Emmons, “Seeing Pine Trees,”  in which Emmons characterizes the views of a poet and a mathematician as two halves of one whole. 

Personally, I much prefer this cheeky poem about trees, as I find it to be true…for me at least…true that is in a nice sort of way that never fails to bring a smile to me.

Trees

Darkness 2013

P.S: I hope this is sent right. As sending any thing from the field is frequently challenging for me.

I don’t lead a normal life. Let me frank. I lead a very extraordinary life. A life that is literally divided between the real and imaginary world. In the real world, I happen to be a farmer. In that other world that only exist in the digital realm - I belong to a ruling hegemony that has absolute control of the entire known universe.

At times it’s difficult to tell which of the two is REAL. As since reality is a function of how much one is prepared to invest in that world (even if it happens to be imaginary) - if one says the virtual world is only a game. That may well be true for the lay man who is able to draw a clear division between reality and fiction.

But what happens when the game itself is so uncannily real that it’s almost impossible to distinguish between reality and fiction – what if the game can be so real it’s even possible to recreate an alternate universe that contains everything that even exist in the real world?

I have always struggled with this philosophical question – and many a time it has kept me awake through the night. Only, this idea is not strange to me at all. As I happen to be one of the architects of such a world. A world where the cummulative transaction in monetary terms is equivalent to the entire GDP of Russia and the Balkans put together (and that’s just for the tradable minerals alone! Not counting the sale of space ships, space stations, magnetic boots, ray-guns etc etc - a world that accomplishes all this in a virtual construct where people from all over the world log in to fight for imaginary territories so that they can mine imaginary minerals and transport them with space ships to imaginary planets to be exchanged for imaginary currency….it’s a kooky world…a world that even at time requires me to develop a fully functional split personality.

One of the after effects of living in this world is whenever the Brotherhood PROJECTS into the real world – we don’t just pick up the phone and talk to each other like normal people. There is always a cinematic quality to the way things are done and transacted.

For example, very recently I have asked the German Guilds to speed up on developing a UAV to facilitate scientific farming methods – since I am not able to hop down to Munich to watch the air trials. They have kindly arranged for me to view it all in a cinema, at an unearthly hour. This may seem like a very strange way to convey information – but from my many years of experience in the internationale gaming community, it’s quite normal. As in the past, I’ve frequently had to endure such inconveniences. You will be surprised where the last viewing was – a high security art gallery that I literally had to break into like a cat burglar! On another occasion – I had to climb a mountain just to play a portable solar powered DVD player to know what was going on! So is this unusual. Not at all. Well let us say on a scale of 1 to 10 – this is definitely a sedentary 2…maybe they all feel that I am getting older….or perhaps we are all just getting wiser…but the spirit for adventure…cloak and dagger…and of course the gaming creed is very much alive and well.

Fortunately, my private viewing comes with a smoking seat…that could well be the only redeeming feature of having to lead a life where one foot is firmly planted in the real world. While the other is floating happily in the kooky parallel universe of the digital world.

That is life. My life…that is.

Darkness 2013

“Don’t be ridicolous! Nothing is impossible when you work for the circus! I know to most of think of gaming as only an indolent, if not idiotic way to kill time – that’s probably because most of you haven’t bothered to immerse yourself into a game where the only thing that you really think about is how to get up to the next level – those who game know what I am talking about. Those who know the game within the game will have absolutely no problems understanding what I am about to share with all of you.

Have you asked yourself what comes after the final level? The point when you can go no further – the point when the road runs out. You know that point when you just sit there soaking in the moment like the way a river suddenly discovers the infinity of the sea. Just imagine everything you have done till this stage was meant for you reach this point in space and time – and now you stand before it.

Now what happens thereafter? I want you at this point to forget everything and to simply read without forming any judgements – I know this may sound easy. But you will find it difficult. This I assure you.

What if I told you there was another level of the gaming experience AFTER that final level. Only this isn’t really a game, not one that you’ve ever known before in your entire gaming experience – you’re not even sure it’s a game – as from time to time. It can all jump out from the digital realm and appear like a demented Jack in the box in the real world – sneak right up on you and go “Boooh!”

You don’t really know whether you’re imagining it all or for that matter whether those mysterious characters who you now suddenly seem to bump into daily merely count as chance, coincidence, probability – you just don’t know – but you know this! Your life is now different from how it used to be. How different? I can explain, it’s just different – you start to believe that this is a new game that you have finally stumbled on. It’s a bit like a man waking up one morning and realizing that he’s still on the same planet, country, neighborhood, flat and room where clothes go to die – only it’s different. As you keep bumping into those strange men – by then, they probably don’t look so strange any longer. You take a closer and longer look. You say to yourself – nice cut. You know he works out like you. You can make out that tight jaw line, 5% body fat – as that’s what it takes for aces to go places – exactly like you. They don’t seem very intimidated by the hard looks you just gave a guy on the train you just changed over from when he was dolling out ring tone torture on his cell phone – no, they’re not afraid of you, there are exactly like you.

You will reach a point when you will stand there as the crowd moves on and when that time comes. Only you and these men will remain. That is the first chapter of our game – we call this, the Arcanum. Other chapters call it the awakening – the spaniards call it the revelation. The Germans – consider this in their usual Wagnerian Isfal. But all agree it has to be life changing in more ways than I can possibly describe.

As when I think about life – I have always had a hard time getting used to the idea, life is just a stage and we are all just actors. That idea has always rubbed me wrong – as that implies that we are each born with a script – we all have a play a part in this theater of life. A slave learns how to bow servilely – an aristocrat looks on the world with an air of disdain – this whole idea that life is somehow programmed has always bothered me. I prefer to see life as a game. It might be a dangerous game with the accompaniment of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But there is so much of the sportsman in me who much prefers to see life as a game rather than a stage.

And so this is where I began to write my destiny – in truth, all of us learnt to farm and defend our lands long before we decided to venture into plantations and mining. The social, political and even the cultural dynamics are exactly the same – there’s always someone to take out, if you don’t take him out, he’s going to take you out! There’s always going to be vested interest, power cliques and even intrigues of politics and power – there will be betrayal, power struggles and even the cinematic promise that it will all end happily with the hero ridding off into the sunset with the girl….my point is, if you’re fortunate enough to play an excellent game where you can regularly touch base with your crew in the real world – then I think it’s really a wonderful thing to have. To covet. And even grow to love and respect.

You will live a much more fulfilling, richer and purpose driven life – as it is only when you are in the company of men who you love, respect and want to model yourself on – that real change can occur – and that has to be a good thing. My personal view of Singapore will always be tribal – as I have so many fond memories of cycling around in Bukit Timah with a group of men who I can identify with. And since this was a strictly male only cycling group – we could all regularly bond on a primal level. I cannot begin to explain to significance or for that matter the need for everyman to learn to bond with another man – it’s an incredible tribal affair that I don’t believe can be explained lucidly – if I try, I’ve just miss the mark.

But I will say this. How does a man. How can a man improve his lot without good role models. If I didn’t have CEO’s in my cycling team, I don’t think I’ll ever think about starting my own business – if I didn’t have teammates who regularly pulled up in their Lamborghinis and Mercedez (that was my Kryptonite, the one that did me in) I’ll still be driving a Toyota Corolla – my point is in life. We all need to find good communities where we can sink our roots into and bear fruit and keep that sort of cycle alive – as when I try to visualize this whole idea of the Singapore core – I don’t see politicians or for that matter the faces of those who insult us all no end with their kooknomics – I don’t see loud people – I don’t even see bloggers (forgive me, but I have taken an oath to call a spade a spade).

All I see is a line of very hard men ridding with headlamps in the early morning dawn in Bukit Timah – they cut through the wind. I see a line of men standing on a snow capped mountain. Each lost in his own thoughts. As this is the summit and all there is to do now is to savor the moment – I see meditative men, intelligent men – men who believe in traditional values much more than I can ever aspire to be. As I need to be truthful. Or it will mean absolutely nothing at all.

This is my mental picture of the Singapore core. It is mine alone. Not his. Not yours. But mine alone. I see in tribal terms.

So one day, if during a break when the tribal chieftain of this cycling team in this story stumbles on a moment of epiphany and turns to everyone and says,

“Something is wrong here. If we can do what we do in the game. Why aren’t we all putting our heads together to figure how to do it in the real world to make us all rich?”

Now just imagine, you’re part of this cycling team – you’ve just ridden three back breaking hours, your butt is sore, your arms and legs feel like jelly – what do you say?

You go into business – it’s not like you ever had a choice. As usual lah. The Singapore tribe can always be counted be an ultra kiam kana outfit who sends you out into the field with a tube of Mentos and couple of dollars in the biscuit tin – but you’ve got to make it – as in this game which is now played in the real world, the monkey told us all that, all our boats need to sail in the same direction – we need to met like faraway distant ships who sail the seven seas at one point in the future. And when we do this – the chapter of the game will unfold again.

Now Gentlemen, you understand why I much prefer to see life as a game rather than a stage. I much prefer that.”

“There is no need to actively take up arms against the militant gay movement in Singapore – all that needs to be done is to send those sissies to live in a plantation for a week. They will soon know why Mother nature saw fit to give us all an asshole, it will soon dawn on these people, it is not for recreational purposes – but to fulfill a very important bodily function.

But that is not why I am weighing in on this topic Gentlemen. My real concern is, it’s increasingly difficult, 8if not impossible to come across as a real man these days. As this notion of manliness has now been hijacked and contorted by evil and malevolent forces.

These days the line between gender and sexuality is increasingly blurred – after shave these days don’t even smell like what it’s supposed to smell like. As now the marketing manifesto needs to fulfill the aspirations of a new sort of man – the metrosexual – who I might add is just a glorified half man. Rolex is now sponsoring ballet instead of expeditions – divers watches these days look more like jewelry than a tool – my point is many of the set pieces that used to nourish the idea of the real man is now giving way to a confused patchwork that can only serve to confuse boys who will one day have to make the journey towards manhood.

Increasingly for the real and complete man the act of living is fast becoming an act of resistance where he will find it increasingly difficult to assert his manliness. Instead we are now told for this man to get ahead in life – he needs to tone down. That is what some people tell me to do. Let me paraphrase gentlemen, it seems I need to learn the language of the half man, to adopt the ways of the compromiser by being political correct all the time. To shy away from confrontation.

Yes, it is very demoralizing these days when the real and complete man looks around at his fellow men these days. Depressing even. Nonetheless, that should provide all of you gentlemen with added resolve to be who you, I and what every proud man aspires to be – a whole and complete man.

The danger gentlemen is, if we as family men do not even know what or how a real man is supposed to act, think and stand for- then how do we expect our children to know? Now when you see it from that perspective, then surely even you will agree with me, this isn’t just a gay bashing or red neck on the loose flippant discussion…. it’s serious.”

Darkness 2013 captured in the steps at the Temple of Reason in Primus Aldentes Prime – intercepted by the deep space Teberius Starcruiser KDD Omaha – The Brotherhood Press 2013

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